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Mamasita’s popularity never seems to die down. Almost every night, you will find a line forming down the stairs and out into Collins Street, Melbourne. What Mamasita specialise in is Mexican cuisine and catered towards a younger demographic as you will find in the restaurant it feels more like a bar or pub at night. Once you try Mamasita, you’ll understand why people keep coming back for more.

We ordered the Camarones gigantes al ajillo, which is basically their grilled prawns placed on a toasted garlic and green almond sauce with garnish. The prawns here are cooked to perfection, still soft inside and crisp outside, and not too dry. The thickened sauce adds to the complexity of the prawns. Probably my only con for the dish is the prawns size which are to be honest small for the price you pay ($28) and you only receive 5 or 6 prawns which seems more like an entree than a “Comida para la familia” (Larger sharing plates)

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The Pancita de cerdo ($25) was probably my favourite of the night. Basically it’s Guajillo braised pork belly with habanero cream, fried parsley & dressed with lime juice. The pork belly was amazing, succulent and tender. How it should be. Complementing the dish with the preserved onions, sauce and slightly crunchy parsley it certainly is a delight to eat. I’d also say this was much more satisfying than the prawns.

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You can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and not order either a taco or quesadilla. Here is their “de Cordero” ($16), inside the quesadilla is braised lamb with queso criollo (cheese) and with a mint & jalapeño herb sauce and served with a slice of lemon. The lamb here is tender even in its shredded form but I found the flavour from the lamb to be a bit lacking. The herb sauce which was similar to a pesto added much needed flavour to the dish.

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As a side salad, we ordered Ensalada de quinoa ($10) aka Quinoa salad was a pleasant salad. The quinoa still had bite to it, and with the addition of fresh spinach, corn, coriander made this a winner.

Impressions

Atmosphere wise, I’m not fond of restaurants where you have to shout to talk with the person next to you and this is the case here. The other downside is the dim lighting that is prevalent in many restaurants in Melbourne.

Other than that, I found the food on the balance of things to be delicious but for the price paid to be slightly over priced and especially so for the grilled prawns mentioned earlier. I can see the attraction to this place but it definitely isn’t my idea of a good evening. Would I come back? I might …but not anytime soon.

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Mamasita

Level 1, 11 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000

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This recipe is so simple, so easy and yet so delicious. I found this recipe on Neil Perry’s Rockpool website and upsized it for the quantity of tiger prawns I had. Look at these prawns, I’ve never found such large prawns before in my entire life! I cannot find these gems again though, sadly.

Check out the recipe below

Grilled Tiger Prawns

 

Serves 2

6 green king prawns, cut in half and deveined (Or any prawns to your liking – with shells)

½ bunch parsley, chopped

½ bunch oregano, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

Zest of ½ lemon

Pinch dried chilli flakes

90ml olive oil

Salt, pepper

Lemon wedge, to serve

Neil Perry Fresh Signature Mayonnaise (Optional)

Method
1. In a bowl, combine the parsely, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, chilli flakes and olive oil. Add the prawns, toss well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

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2. Heat a grill or pan over a high heat. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and grill flesh side down for 30 seconds to one minute, or until just starting to colour. Turn the prawns over and grill for a further 10 seconds, then remove from the grill and pile up on a plate. I used a cast iron grill and it worked wonders for these prawns.

Serve with a wedge of lemon and Neil Perry Fresh Signature Mayonnaise.

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Impressions

I didn’t have any fresh oregano so I used dry oregano flakes from the supermarket, just sprinkled a bit more. I had fresh parsley from my garden though and grilling it with these prawns made them absolutely mouth watering.

Adding a tad more chilli flakes also added that nice zing to it and you hardly needed any further dressing or condiments to it as it is tasty just freshly grilled. Cooks extremely quickly, and is really one of those quick and easy meals after you have done your prep. This is one of my favourite recipes now.

 

 

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